Mrs Cope - Director of Vocational Learning and Head of Department
Mrs Agyekum – Acting Head of Department
Mr Turner – Teacher of Dance

Department Overview

The Dance department offers high quality dance provision throughout the school curriculum. We are fortunate enough to have fantastic dance facilities and we are a subject in which results are consistently outstanding. Lessons have a predominantly practical focus and are designed to ensure all students are challenged and able to achieve their full potential. We also strive to raise the profile of dance as an academic subject. Students are expected to discuss, analyse, debate and write about dance and so become versatile performers and thinking dancers. We encourage students to develop their creative thinking skills via a variety of choreographic and performance opportunities. Students have the opportunity to work with renowned artists within the industry through access to workshops that build their confidence and skills within a variety of dance styles. Dance enhances students’ physical, mental and emotional wellbeing whilst developing invaluable life skills that are transferable across other subjects, such as confidence, collaboration, innovation and leadership. We believe that students benefit from a holistic dance education whereby learning takes place within and beyond the school environment.

Curriculum Content
Key Stage 4

Level 2 BTEC Technical Award in Performing Arts Dance:

Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts

In this unit, students study practitioners’ work and assess the working processes and roles and responsibilities within a professional dance company. Students will have the opportunity to take part in workshops in the style of practitioners to inform their knowledge and understanding of each practitioners’ way of working and choreographic style.

Component 2: Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts

In this unit, students develop their physical and interpretative skills whilst working as a company to learn and perform repertoire. Students will perform their final performance to a live audience and keep a record of their ongoing progress, setting individual targets.

Component 3: Responding to a Brief

You will work as part of a group to create your own performance in response to a given brief or stimulus. You will be responsible for creating the dance and choosing the music, props and costumes. You will perform your final piece to an audience.

We have recently changed awarding body to better suit the interests of our students. The below information is applicable to any student who chooses Dance in year 9 from 2019 onwards.

Many of our students progress onto undergraduate dance programmes at renowned conservatoires, universities and institutions such as Trinity Laban, The Place, The Urdang Academy, London Studio Centre, Performers College, The Royal Academy of Dance, Middlesex University, Roehampton University, Kingston University and De Montfort University. Our students are all supported with their UCAS application process via personalised tutorials and mentoring, audition preparation classes and open day visits to ensure students are making choices that are right for them as an individual. Our Alumni have been extremely successful within the dance industry, with careers in fields such as:

  • Choreographer
  • Community Dance Practitioner
  • Company Director
  • Dance Performer: Contemporary companies, commercial sector, cruise ships, musical theatre, etc.
  • Dance/Arts officer
  • Dance Movement Therapist
  • Dance Journalist
  • Dance Historian
  • Dance Teacher/Lecturer: private and public sectors
  • Marketing for Dance Companies
  • Management Specialist
  • Press and Public Relations Specialist
  • Events Planner
  • Dance Administrator
  • Dance Psychologist
  • Youth Worker
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Dance Film Maker
  • Academic Researcher
  • Dance Photographer/Videographer
  • Dance project coordinator
  • Dance company outreach
  • Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor
  • Lighting designer/Technical Production
  • Costume Designer
  • Dance Foundation and Funding Specialist
  • Notation/Choreology

Students have the opportunity to attend auditions and apply for Youth Dance companies and Training programmes such as:

  • IMD Leigon
  • Homebros
  • Boy Blue Entertainment
  • Centre for Advanced Training Scheme at Trinity Laban and The Place
  • Shift Dance Company
  • Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company
  • National Youth Dance Company

Our students have benefitted from working with industry professionals on the above programmes to push themselves to their full potential and successfully prepare for careers within the Dance industry.

Take a look at the Barking Abbey Dance Department on Instagram

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”

Martha Graham